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AARP Rewards Healthy Plate Contest, Week 3 May 17-23

Welcome to Week 3 of our AARP Rewards Healthy Plate Contest, May 17-23, 2021

 

This week we are discussing the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet.  What are your favorite foods or recipes that help stay in sync with anti-inflammatory diets?  Share them here and get 50 AARP Rewards point as well as a chance to win our Week 3 topic.  Rules: https://community.aarp.org/t5/AARP-Rewards-Connect/AARP-Rewards-Healthy-Plate-Contest-2021-Official-... .  Click here to see information on the contest

 

 

AARPTeri
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Regular Contributor

I always eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, but one thing I'm trying is a little more variety, to eat fruits and vegetables in season whenever possible, trying to buy from the farmers markets when I can. And to add variety I aim to select a wider range of colors. I'm an amateur artist, so when I see the bins full of brightly colored fruits and vegetables I think to myself 'I'd love to paint this scene'! So I'm trying to select fruits and vegetables with an artist's eye! 

 

Second, I'm incorporating more fresh, and colorful herbs and spices. I sometimes tend to add too much salt to my food - I tend towards the savory & salty versus the sweet - but I notice that when I use fresh lemons, spices, and herbs, I don't need the salt.

Periodic Contributor

I'm eating a lot more fruits and vegetables. I've also planted lots of herbs and am using those nearly every day. I also eat plain yogurt with fruit several times a week.

Gold Conversationalist

@Kateaz That's so smart that you add your own fruit with plain yogurt.  Usually when the fruits included, there is lots of added sugar ( that's not related to the natural sugar in fruit )   ---  Christine

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One of my favorites is my morning oatmeal to which I add tumeric, either flax or chia seeds and either a teeny bit honey or teeny bit of brn sugar, and cinnamon.  I have been doing this for so long, that there are many mornings, that I don't even remember making it! But, it helps my MS! 

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Turmeric Latte

1 1/2 cups milk:  almond, coconut, or cow's milk

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon vanilla

sweetener to taste:  honey, maple syrup, stevia

If using a non-dairy milk, 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil or ghee or butter

In a small saucepan, combine:  milk, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, and coconut oil or ghee or butter if using a non-dairy milk. Bring to a gentle simmer, do not boil, stir or whisk for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and sweetener. 

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Sometimes I stray from my long term goal of loosing weight.  That happened leading up to and after the passing of my best friend to Stage 4 Cancer in January.  I have been slowing getting back on track.  I've actually been following AARP Rewards Healthy Plate Contest without knowing it.  1) I had to look hard at how my eating had changed and what I had stopped eating.  I added back raw veggies!!  I cut them when I get home so it's grab and go all week. 2) I have eliminated fried food, which I don't eat often but it had to be a mindful change and I donated all the non-perishable food I had for those who could benefit from them.  Now on Week 3) Anti-Inflammatory...always a good one this time of year.  I hit those farmers markets, we have plenty of blueberries and strawberries to load up on.  I will put them in my Oatmeal (with cinnamon and a dash of turmeric) for breakfast, an afternoon snack and a raw produce smoothie (another thing I stopped doing).  I have a few Quinoa Salads I do but this is the one I'm making next - 1C Quinoa (cook as usual), Mix together cooked Quinoa, 1 English Cucumber diced, 1/2 red onion diced (or scallions if you have some fresh hanging around), 1 can black olives chopped (I often mix black olives and green olives with pimento).  Dressing: 1 C EEOV, 1/4 C white balsamic, 1 T lemon juice, 2 T dijon mustard (I prefer 1/2-1 tsp dry mustard) and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.  Pour over salad and mix well.  Serve warm or chill first.  Happy Memorial Day everyone!

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Tturmeric is great! My morning old fashioned oatmeal starts with dash of salt, shakes of turmeric and cinnamon, then 1\3 c. dry oatmeal, 2/3 c. Water. Nuke 1 min 45 sec. Stir in 1-2 T. almond or peanut butter. Then a squirt of local honey. No mid morning cravings. Can make to 1 or 2 pm with decaf coffee and water only! Tumeric is used in countries with very low numbers of dementia. Friend says a teaspoon of mustard (turmeric in it) will stop leg cramps and restless legs! He's a landscape contractor.

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Silver Conversationalist

Guys, A healthy plate is greens , protein, 🍖, let’s do turkey and-or chicken 🐔 plus Fish 🐠. Babe dessert is Fresh Fruits 

Racquel Evans
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Periodic Contributor

There’s more than one healthy way to eat depending on your goals.  For reversing T2D, lowering Blood pressure and cholesterol and losing weight—The peer reviewed science is clear on the benefits and results of Adapt Keto, prescription strength, by Dr Westman.     The results are amazing.  I’ll will say most other internet keto diets are misguided in many cases.  

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My tip is to incorporate the Blue Zones diet, which is similar to the Mediterranean diet. I started with beverages: coffee with breakfast, tea with lunch, and wine with dinner. I also drink a large glass of water with lemon first thing in the morning. As for snacks, measure out a serving of raw unsalted nuts, and keep them handy for snacking. Remove processed food and replace with whole foods like: swap potato chips with veggie sticks, swap soda for water, etc. Set the table, measure your food, try new spices (like tumeric or cumin in your tuna salad), and eat mindfully.

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Gold Conversationalist

@PatriciaP18794 Those are all great ideas! I'm going to try the cumin with the tuna salad; I use avocado instead of mayo.   ---  Christine

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Newbie

I love tumeric. I use it with pepper on eggs, chicken and beef

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Regular Contributor

...and tuna salad, egg salad, potato salad

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Regular Contributor

I have worked to get off artificial sweetness the clinical studies aren’t robust enough for me to believe that artificial anything is good for humans. Instead I add citrus fruit essential oils to still and carbonated water. Another thing that I enjoy water by infused with fresh herbs and fruit. I do basil, watermelon, citrus etc. Whatever you like. 

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Gold Conversationalist

Gail, Those are great tips!  Thank you so much.  I'm trying to drink more water than ever because of kidney stone issues.  I'm going to try the herbs today.  ---  Christine

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Regular Contributor

I'm so happy to help! Best wishes on your health journey. It takes getting used to but I don't miss the calorie-laden roads and juices. If I get a craving I drink one and the craving is satisfied. Happens about 3-4 times a year. 

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Gold Conversationalist

@GailN935310  I'm the same way with root beer, preferably with pizza.   ---  Christine

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Periodic Contributor

When my vegetarian daughter moved in last year, the entire meal prep here was changed.  We eat fresh fruits, vegetable and whole grains.  98% of what I make is "from scratch" - minimal canned foods, no meat, breads are made with my bread maker. ..... And I had a wonderful garden last year - hoping it does as well this year!  Plus, I got a few good recipes from the AARP website -THANK YOU!

 

Regular Contributor

You love your daughter! I’m 67 and wish my mom had cooked for the 7 of us the way I had to eat to maintain my weight. I also think it would have been good for both of us to walk together after work. 

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Regular Contributor

I eat healthy most of the time. I've been a vegan for decades and am lucky that I naturally enjoy vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, fruit, etc.

 

But, lest I get too complacent, I do have a downfall, which is bread! Not that bread in itself is unhealthy, and I do eat healthier, whole grain breads, but I sometimes eat too much bread. It's just too easy if I don't have time to cook, to just have toast and peanut butter or a sandwich. Or, put me in front of a baguette and a dish of dipping olive oil and I'm out of control!

 

So I'm trying to decrease my servings, though I don't think I need to entirely eliminate bread. Some years back I cut back on bread and it helped me to lose a bit of extra weight (along with exercise of course).

 

Second, I need to watch out for sugar. I do not eat a lot of desserts or sugary foods, but I need to pay more attention to sneaky ways sugar shows up.... For example I've been switching to unsweetened versions of plant-based milks, cereals, etc., and now I carefully read labels on packaged or pre-prepared foods. 

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Regular Contributor

I understand nutrition labels now have added sugars listed. I read 19 grams of added sugar, or less, is the daily goal. 

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Contributor

I was able to dump sugary soda, and then other sugary foods by trying several different no calorie sweeteners until I figured out what I liked best, then looking for it in replacement products.

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Regular Contributor

I'd like to know if you have fewer cavities too!

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Gold Conversationalist

@PatriciaP18794  I haven't had a cavity since I was a kiddo. Been using xylitol toothpaste and xylitol as a natural sweetener in my baking for over five years. ---  Christine

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Periodic Contributor

Probably, since carbs turn to sugar and only eating a few heathy carbs a day!   

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Newbie

If I must have sweets - I opt for homemade keto treats or buy sugar free candies, I keep them in the freezer so they're not as tempting as in my pantry.

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Periodic Contributor

My go to is sugar free jello with a little whip cream.  Just started making ice pops with the SF jello, great for warmer weather.  

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Newbie

I keep a bag of frozen berry mix handy. I'll add them to my almond milk smoothie, (and a scoop of turmeric golden milk powder!) or add them to a bit of Greek yogurt. Berries, broccoli and avocado are my go to foods!

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Contributor

With summer on the horizon, I love making a refreshing cucumber salad with diced strawberries. I mix in about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar for a little sweetness, then chill.

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